On May 20th, 1845, two ships under the command of Sir John Franklin in search of a passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific through waters north of the Canadian Shield. The richly provisioned Royal expedition was never heard from again.
Later Arctic expeditions revealed that the entire crews of both ships perished during that effort. 20th century forensics of the remains of some expedition members revealed that there were heavy concentrations of lead in their systems. These came from the lead-tin alloy used to seal the tin containers used at the time. The lack of fresh fruit led to scurvy as well in expedition members.
The expedition was ice-locked in 1846 and things when from bad to worse from then on. The last surviving members perished about 1850. From native reports, cannibalism was used as a final resort for survival.
Today, several Northwest Passages are open year-round due to the effects of shrinkage of the Northern ice-cap (Map above). This is due to non-existent Global Warming. One would think that the members of the Franklin Expedition would have been grateful if such an effect had occurred prior to 1845.
This is our Open Thread. Please feel free to present your thoughts on any topic that comes to mind.